Blessing of the Talents and Pounds
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May he make his face to shine upon you and give you peace.
May you discover the mystery of living in the world but not being of it.
Like Daniel, may the leaders of nations want you in their inner circle of authority because of your divinely-given wisdom and insight.
But like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, may the leaders of nations hold you in furnace-building suspicion because you claim a higher citizenship than any nation can offer and you will always obey God rather than rulers.
Like Joseph, may your integrity and determination lead the prominent and mighty corporations of the world to place you in seats of power and influence.
But like the apostle Paul in Ephesus, may your prophetic life so call into question the idolatry on which our lives are built that the unjust economic systems of our world conspire to run you out of town before you undo their mythology.
May the great graduate schools and universities fight over you because they long to have students who committedly give their minds back to God as a an act of worship.
But may they not know what to do with brilliant people who rather than identifying themselves with the cultured elites, keep finding their identity with the poor and the marginalized.
Like Enoch, may you live long productive lives so connected with God that your transition to the next life will be like taking an unbroken stroll into the next life surrounded by the presence of the Spirit.
But like Stephen, may you lay down your life, in the prime of life, as a peaceful witness to a kingdom the world cannot see.
Like our Lord, may the world love you, and despise you.
May you be embraced, and rejected.
May you be given all things, but keep nothing.
May multitudes follow you, but may you take up your cross daily.
May you become first by being last, and may you become great by being the servant of all.
May you daily give your talents to the Lord prepared to one day be held accountable for how you have used the gift of life he has given you.
But, like Zacchaeus, - refusing to be conformed to this present age - may you wrap up and give back the pound the principalities and powers will offer to you, willing to pay the cost of discipleship.
May your life be lived in the tension between the talents and pounds.
God has called you to help him heal the broken world. May the world be both excited and terrified that you are on the way.
And may he who began a good work in you, may he carry it completion until the day of Christ Jesus.